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Posts published in “Day: February 17, 2009”

East Aldine holds annual meeting; reports on plans

East Aldine Management District has completed operation of their eighth year in existence, and the Board held a budget workshop and heard a report on progress in the 2008 year, last Friday night at a special session. The report, delivered by Executive Director David Hawes and Chairman Clyde Bailey, included plans for 2009 and beyond.

In their remarks, they pointed out that the district is sales tax based, not property tax like many of the other 26 management districts in Harris County. This revenue base has grown from $800,000 in the first year 2001, to $3,500,000 last year. This strong growth has allowed the district to proceed with their long range goals and improve ments in the district.

Highlights of the report included the following accomplishments:

Water and Sewer Infrastructure projects in 2008 include completion of the Tasfield Sewer project, start of the North Houston Heights water and sewer lines, application to the state water board for $600,000 in funding for an engineering grant.

Security and Public Safety includes expansion of the Contract Deputy program to 4 deputies and a Sgt., an abatement officer, and bike patrols on week-ends and holidays.

Neighborhood Clean-up included mosquito spraying for 9 months, mowing and litter pickup along major roads, removal of bandit signs, assisted county with hazardous waste collection at Jed’s Home Center, coordinated heavy trash pickup in all neighborhoods through the year.

In Economic Development activity, the district progressed on plans for water and sewer lines on the east side of US59, and added signage on the Hardy Toll Road for the district.

Community Grant Funding, or financial help to local organizations, was increased to $186,000 for the year.

In the plans for 2009, Hawes and Bailey outlined the following goals and programs:

Water and Sewer programs will include finishing North Houston Heights, start of Sherwood Place/Benton Place lines with a TWDB grant approval due in mid-March, start Inwood Place water lines, use bond sale proceeds for main water and sewer lines in Service Zone 11 (east side of US59), proceed with Westfield Estates Septic System Pilot Project as partner with HGAC.

Mobility projects will include new signage, bus stop enhancement, intersection redesign, all as projects with government entity partners.

Security and Public Safety programs will expand, with more bike patrols, especially in the parks, and involvement with the “Safe Routes to School” grant program.

Neighborhood Clean-up will expand to include special “hot-spot” work, and possible dumpster collection points.

Economic Development activities will get attention from the new ED director, Grethen Larson, with emphasis on an enhanced website, new marketing and PR, and expanded networking with realtors, businesses, apartments, and social service providers.

Community Development Funding is budgeted to increase to $250,000 for local programs.

In addition to Hawes and Bailey, other Board members include John Broussard, Reyes Garcia, William Townsend, Deborah Foster, Bob Beasley, Gerald Overturff, Ray Shotwell, and Maria Espinoza.

Walle named to key House committees

AUSTIN – Last week, State Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) was appointed to serve on three key committees for the 81st Legislative Session. Rep. Walle was named to the House Committee on Urban Affairs, the House Committee on Human Services, and the House Committee on Rules & Resolutions.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to serve on these three House Committees,” said Rep. Walle. “These committee assignments will allow me to work closely on issues that affect my constituents.”

“The Human Services Committee oversees the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, including the valuable Children’s Health Insurance Program,” said Rep. Walle. “As a member of the Human Services Committee, I look forward to working to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health insurance to children of working families.”

“In selecting Representative Walle for these committees, I considered his wisdom, experience and proven ability to provide new, dynamic leadership and offer fresh ideas,” said House Speaker Joe Straus. “We are fortunate to have Representative Walle as a member of these important committees.”

Rep. Walle explained that thousands of pieces of legislation will be considered by the Legislature this session, and the committee process closely analyzes legislation before Representatives vote on bills on the House Floor. Taking an active role as a committee member enables him to have greater input on a large number of bills covering a wide range of issues.

Rep. Walle represents House District 140, which includes parts of Houston and unincorporated areas of Harris County. Rep. Walle encourages constituents to contact his office on this or any other issue by phone at (512) 463-0924, by e-mail at Armando.Walle@house.state.tx.us, or by visiting the Texas House of Representatives website at www.house.state.tx.us.

HCC-Northeast celebrates Black History Month with arts and entertainment, health day

Houston Community College Northeast kicks off Black History Month with a diverse group of performers at Northline, Pinemont, and Northeast Campuses.

The multi-faceted Hip Hop artist Komplex, who has shared the stage with artist that includes Floetry and Regina Belle, will perform at the Northline Campus on February 17 at 2 p.m. Tony Henry, will perform at the Northeast Campus, February 18 and Pinemont Center, February 19, capturing the likes of Sam Cooke; singing a mixture of cover tunes and original works at 11:30 a.m.

Northeast College will close out the month with laughter when comedian, Dave Martin performs on February 26 at noon. Dave Martin will bring a unique blend of humor and musical parodies to the stage at the Northline Campus.

For more information upcoming performances, please call 713.718.8300 or visit northeast.hccs.edu.

Northline Campus Gallery opens art show

HCC Northeast art department opens its first art show for 2009. The Northline Campus Art Gallery is proud to present a premiere show of student art from the painting and art appreciation classes of fall 2008 during the month of February.

The Art Gallery at Houston Community College Northeast is dedicated to promoting the artistic expression of students, faculty and members of a diverse community. The gallery is open to the community from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information on upcoming exhibits at the Northline Campus art gallery, call Tina Kotrla at 713.718.8089 or visit northeast.hccs.edu.

NEC Drama department presents “Graceland”

HCC Northeast drama department presents “Graceland” by Ellen Byron at the Northeast Campus Amphitheater, 555 Community College Dr. Graceland is about two women from different generations waiting for Elvis’ mansion to open to the public for the first time.

Lots of laughs and even a few tears make Graceland enjoyable to everyone, especially Elvis fans. The community is invited to attend. Performances are scheduled for February 27 and 28 at 8:00 p.m. For more information and directions to the Northeast Campus, call Debra Schultz at 713.718.8486 or visit northeast.hccs.edu.

African-American Health Awareness Day

In honor of Black History Month, HCC Northeast is hosting an African-American Health Awareness Day, February 26 at the Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Dr.

In an effort to promote early intervention and prevention, information will be provided on health issues facing African-Americans throughout the day. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Holden at 713.718.8067.

Blacks in Politics

“Blacks in Politics” will be the focus on Feb. 16 through 19.

“American Black Out” a 2006 Documentary investigating the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election in Florida, will be shown Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. in Codwell Hall.

Throughout the month photos of notable African Americans will be on display at, Northeast campus, 555 Community College Dr., Houston, TX 77013.

HC Flood Control District holds public meetings over future of Hall’s Bayou

The Harris County Flood Control District invites the public to a meeting to discuss a study of flooding and how to reduce it, along Halls Bayou.

Halls Bayou is approximately 20 miles long. It’s watershed, the area that drains into Hall’s Bayou, covers about 45 square miles.

While offering rich vegetation and opportunities for recreation, the area is also prone to flooding. This causes risk to persons and property along the bayou and its adjoining watershed.

At these meetings, which will be held in both English and Spanish, the HCFCD will provide information on the study, and answer questions, and ask the public for formal comments regarding flooding issues and potential solutions.

All meetings will be held at MacArthur Sr. High School, 4400 Aldine Mail Route.

The first meeting in English will be held Feb, 17. An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. with a presentation and public comment period following from 7 to 8 p.m.

A second meeting in English will be held Feb. 21 with 9 to 10 a.m., with the presentation following from 10 to 11 a.m. This will be followed by a Spanish Language third meeting with an open house from 12 to 1 p.m. and the presentation from 1 to 2 p.m.

Community members are encouraged to attend and provide feedback regarding flooding in their areas. For questions or comments about the study, contact the HCFCD Study hotline at 713-684-4040.

Tales from the bank vault…

It amazes me how this Madoff fellow got away absconding millions and millions of dollars from people who thought they were getting richer. This is one time I am glad we are not wealthy.

On top of that, Madoff has been walking freely about. It is a wonder somebody hasn’t jerked a knot in his tail for what he did, being free like he is. Do you think rich people do that?

It would be interesting to see a list of who lost and how much. It would be like playing poker, read ’em and weep.

The government was asleep at the wheel on this one, specifically the Securities and Exchange Commission. Having spent 38 years working for six banks in two buildings, one gets to know how bank examiners work or at least some of it.

The examiners would go through our investment accounts like the bonds, stock, etc and etc., then the examiners would send correspondence to account holders requesting verification of the account and amount, etc. The examiners would go through us as if using a flea comb looking for irregularities. Of course, as Madoff has proven; it is sometimes hard to catch a thief.

One time, there was a bank examiner who would go through people’s waste baskets. Of course this one bank examiner had smelled a rat and was digging deep for irregularities.

Then again having been close friends with past examiners, one can say they do party and play at times. They like to play practical jokes on one another as well as cover for their podna’s too.

At one time, a bank would take the examiners out to lunch but that is now history thanks to people like Bert Lance and Jessie James. The examiners loved to go to the boat clubs or country clubs for their luncheon. Many would drink their lunch thus making a day of the lunch.

Mind you lots of people drink their lunches, so it is not all government people. Bankers are not angels by any means. Many have sticky fingers and I’ll share a few tales with you if you are interested.

The story goes that this one banker would make all these restaurant loans to persons and get a five or ten thousand dollar kickback for making the loan.

Then there was this banker who got a kickback on each loan approved for a certain dealer until company management got air of the deal.

Then there was the banker who would make leg loans. Now let me tell you, that is a brave man or fool, one way or the other, some poor fool is going to have to collect it. Been known to collect a few leg loans in my career from bankers who had gone down the road; the customers sure gets perturbed when they have to fork over the cash for their little sweetie’s monthly note.

This one customer would take notes out for persons of his religious sect to sign and he would then return the signed notes to the bank. This person was an outstanding person of the community, big in the church, etc, etc and of course etc. He forged I don’t know how many of the notes thinking he was helping the church and all.

Protecting teens from dating violence

by Gregg Abbott

Dating violence is far too common among teenagers across the nation. According to a recent survey, one in five teens who have been in a serious relationship say they have been hit, slapped or pushed by their partner. Even more disturbing: 30 percent of all murders involving females ages 15 to 19 are committed by their romantic interest.

This month, the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is joining with crime victim advocates across the country to observe the fourth annual National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. The week-long observance is intended to educate teens about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. It is also intended to help adults and teens recognize when a friend or loved one is being abused.

The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline provides many tips for recognizing and responding to teen dating violence, as does its Web site, www.loveisrespect.org. Abuse most likely exists if teens’ dating partners:

• Look at them or act in ways that scare them

• Seem jealous or possessive

• Criticize them

• Try to control where they go, what they wear or what they do

• Text or IM them excessively

• Threaten to kill or hurt themselves or their partners if they leave

• Try to stop them from seeing or talking to friends and family

• Hit, slap, push or kick them

Young Texans who find themselves in abusive relationships should first consider talking to a friend or an adult about the situation. Anyone who does not feel safe should avoid being alone with their boyfriend or girlfriend.

Teenagers who have witnessed or experienced potential dating violence are encouraged to call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at (866) 331-9474. The helpline offers realtime, one-on-one support 24 hours a day. Through the helpline, trained volunteers advise teenagers to recognize unhealthy behavior and explain how to leave abusive relationships in the safest way possible.

Parental involvement can be a powerful tool that prevents teen dating violence. By talking with their teenage children and staying aware of developments in their child’s life, parents can show that they care – and are approachable when problems arise. Setting boundaries and simultaneously entrusting kids to conduct themselves responsibly may feel like a balancing act, but it can really help protect teens from harmful relationships.

The OAG has long been involved in the fight against domestic violence. Recently, the OAG joined the Texas Council on Family Violence to launch the “LOVE” campaign, which was created to heighten public awareness about teen dating violence.

The OAG Web site, www.texasattorneygeneral.gov, contains information about victims’ rights, protective orders, and the OAG’s Address Confidentiality Program, which provides a post office box and mail forwarding at no charge to victims who want to prevent an abuser from knowing where to find them. Abuse victims seeking information about the OAG’s Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, which reimburses out-of-pocket expenses to victims of violent crime and their families, can also find it on the Web site.

All Texans have the right to live violence-free lives, but some may need help getting out of violent relationships. The OAG is committed to working with victim groups and others to ensure that Texas teenagers have access to the resources they need to end a dangerous or harmful relationship.

National Signing Day: Twenty-eight AISD athletes sign scholarship letters of intent

Twenty-seven Aldine ISD senior football players and one swimmer signed national letters of intent with a number of colleges and universities on Wednesday, Feb. 4, which will allow them to continue their academic and athletic careers.

Five AISD football players signed with Division 1 schools, as Eisenhower Senior High led the way with four Division 1 signings. Defensive back Craig Loston, one of the most sought after recruits in the nation, signed with LSU, while quarterback Kenneth Guiton Jr., signed with Ohio State University.

Wide receiver Greg Timmons signed with the University of Texas, while fellow wide receiver Jaz Reynolds signed with the University of Oklahoma. Aldine Senior High defensive back Tavon Boldin signed with the University of Missouri. Eisenhower High had the most seniors earn scholarships as 19 signed with various colleges and universities across the country.

Eisenhower seniors who signed with Southern University were: defensive back Verlis Martin, running back Terrance Fletcher and defensive end Marcus Thompson. Running back Curtis McGregor signed with Grambling State University, while linebacker DeMarkus Jenkins signed with Sul Ross State.

Linebacker Brandon Boyd and wide receiver Washington Allen signed with West Texas A&M University, while linebacker Shadow Eaden, offensive lineman Jasmine Manuel, linebacker Johnny Fowler and running back Devin Miller all signed with Edwards Waters University.

Offensive linemen Joseph DeLeon, Tim Harris and Norris Thomas all signed with Southwest Baptist University (MO). Offensive lineman Arthur Jones is considering signing with either Texas Southern University or Grambling State University.

Eisenhower High senior swimmer Karson Applin signed with the University of Utah.

Nimitz Senior High had five players earn scholarships. They are: wide receiver LaMarquis King, who signed with the University of Central Arkansas, defensive back Dexter Williams, who signed with West Texas A&M University, wide receiver Kelvin Chatham, who signed with Citrus College, defensive back Karre Wallace, who signed with Southwest Baptist University (MO) and defensive lineman Danzale White, who signed with Citrus College.

In addition to Bolden signing with Missouri, Aldine Senior High teammates Keitrell Anderson and Mike Williams, both defensive backs, signed with Portland State University.